Buying And Insuring A Vehicle With A Salvage Title

If you have a salvaged car, or you're thinking of buying one, then you may have noticed that your insurance company has special rules about these types of cars. Salvaged cars can be tricky to insure, but it's not impossible. In addition to insurance, there are other considerations you might want to think about before taking on a vehicle with a salvaged title.

What is a "salvaged" vehicle?

Vehicles that have a salvage title are those that have been deemed "totaled" according to the insurance company. Generally, there is a formula based on how much the damage has impacted the value of the car. When the car's value is lowered a certain percentage, it's deemed as being a total loss. This means that older cars with a small amount of damaged may be more easily totaled than newer cars with even greater damage. It doesn't necessarily mean that the car is unusable or you can't fix all the problems. Some salvaged vehicles only have cosmetic damage from hail or a minor accident.

Can a salvaged title be changed?

Once a car has a salvage title, it can almost never be changed. You can research whether or not a car has been salvaged through a vehicle history report or through your state's motor vehicles department. Do not purchase a vehicle from someone who claims that they can give you a clean title for a salvaged car. The only title change that is available in some states is "rebuilt," for some vehicles that have been completely rebuilt and inspected. However, the car can never have a clean title again even if it's in perfect condition. Cars with salvaged titles are often very difficult to sell because people will be concerned about future problems from the original damage, despite the vehicle being restored.

What kinds of insurance options are available for salvaged vehicles?

Some insurance companies may refuse to insure any salvaged vehicle. Other companies will offer limited insurance, such as liability. Very rarely will an insurance company offer collision and comprehensive coverage for a salvaged vehicle. If they do, the payout for these types of insurance is usually very low. The type of insurance offered will also depend on your state's insurance requirements. If you already have insurance for another vehicle, then you may want to check with your provider to ensure coverage before buying a vehicle with a salvaged title.

If you're thinking of buying a salvaged vehicle, it's important to do your research. Have the car thoroughly inspected, research the history and check into insurance before purchasing. If you already have a car with a salvage title and you're looking into having it insured, talk to an insurance company that specializes in vehicle titles and insurance. If you're interested in learning more, check out websites like